The first view is the Calvinist View which simply stated is this. Salvation is 100% a work of God but He does not intend on Saving everyone, but those He chooses are eternally safe, Christ did not die for all humanity but only the elect. Our Part in this matter is merely to preach the absolute sovereignty of God and those Chosen will respond because they have been given the spirit of grace to do so.
The second view is the Arminian View which simply stated is this. Salvation is 99.9999% a work of God and the rest is your freewill which you must exercise in order to receive it. Now some believe at this point Salvation becomes guaranteed and others do not. Our part in this matter is to tell them without faith in Christ they will most certainly perish in Hell. Those we do not reach with this message, God can’t save for his hands are tied according to our part in proclaiming the Gospel and mans part in confessing belief in his life time.
The third view is that of Jesus Christ which simply stated is, that “He is Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” Your responsibility in this mater is to proclaim the full love of God in Christ and to walk in that same love in this life. Reach as many as you can with this Real Heavenly Love, but in the finished work of Christ is the guarantee for those we do not reach “that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess Jesus is Lord to the Glory of God” and then God sorts it out.
The other day I was having a conversation with a Calvinist friend of mine on Facebook and it got me to thinking. The conversation centered around the idea that people when talking about the Bible or any Book or Historical Person keep a Second Set of Books. Now for this gentleman the second set of Books is Calvin’s Institutes along with a number of others I am sure. Yet when he was talking he never mentioned the Second Set of Books from which his assumptions about the Bible arrive.
He assured me that because the ideas of Calvin where 100% what the Bible teaches there was in fact no reason to talk about his Second Set of Books. I commented how this reminds me of when Mormon Missionaries come to your house in order to give you a FREE Bible. When in fact it is their desire and calling to get you to embrace the teachings of a Second Set of Books altogether.
As I reflected on this tendency of people to keep a Second Set of Books and I realized we all do it. Jesus when He is talking to people says “you have heard it said” or some peoples Second Set of Books says this about the Torah but my Second Set of Books says this. It seems impossible not to have a Second Set of Books or a Personal Hermeneutic by which we Interpret the Word of God. I just wish we could all admit it and stop pretending ours is the same as the Original.